Hoping to empower others, 6abc employee comes out to coworkers during National Coming Out Day

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- National Coming out Day is a day meant to celebrate the act of coming out - when an LGBTQ person chooses to publicly share their truth with their friends, family or coworkers.

Using her story to empower others, Valerie Tobin chose to come out at her job on Friday.

"I thought maybe this is the push I need to have this day," said Tobin.

That day is specifically the 31st anniversary of National Coming Out Day, which marks the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Tobin decided it was time to tell her coworkers at the 6abc Traffic Department, only she had a couple of dry runs to shake out the nerves.

"I told the toll lady, 'It's National Coming Out Day, I'm gay,' and she said, 'Aww, good for you,'" Tobin said. "I went into work, and there's another security guy, and I said the same thing... so, then I just got up and said, 'Everybody, I want you to know it's national coming out day and I'm gay!'"

Having already told her family in June during Pride Month, this was another weight lifted off her shoulders.

"It felt good, it felt really good," she said. "I feel people really know me at work, know the real me now. I'm not hiding anything, I have no anxiety, of what if I say this, what if I say that?"

And for those still too scared to share their truth.

"Start with one person that you can really trust with that information, and see how it goes and take it from there," said Tobin. "And then like I did, tell the whole office."
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